Description of Historic Place
The Residence/ Radio Station Building, located at the Aviation Weather Station in a remote, northern landscape, is a simple, rectangular, wood-framed structure with white asbestos siding and a gable roof. Its utilitarian design and minimal detailing are adaptations to the northern climate. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Residence/ Radio Station Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Residence/ Radio Station Building, as part of the Aviation Weather Station, is closely associated with the establishment of telecommunication facilities in Canada’s north, specifically the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Yukon Radio System. Established by the Department of National Defence, the System became the lifeline of the North and gained international prominence for its contribution to meteorological forecasting in North America. Its radio personnel also served as ground observers for the military before the establishment of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) project in the Cold War.
The Residence/ Radio Station Building is a good example of utilitarian architecture with a simple design and minimal detailing, illustrating a functional adaptation to the northern climate.
The Residence/ Radio Station Building, as an integral part of the grouping of structures which constitute the station, reinforces the character of its remote northern setting. Due to the remoteness of the site, all the structures of the station are landmarks on the open northern landscape and are well-known in the local area.
Sources: Katherine Spencer-Ross, Aviation Weather Station, Fort Reliance, Northwest Territories, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 95-042; The Residence/ Radio Station Building, Aviation Weather Station, Fort Reliance, Northwest Territories, Heritage Character Statement, 95-042.
The character-defining elements of the Residence/ Radio Station Building should be respected.
Its utilitarian architecture and simple design, for example:
- the simple massing of the structure consisting of a one-and-a-half storey structure with an enclosed porch and a gable roof clad with asphalt shingles;
- the wood-frame and white asbestos siding;
- the concrete block foundation;
- the window and door arrangement.
The manner in which the Residence/ Radio Station Building reinforces the character of its remote northern setting and is a well-known landmark in the local area, as evidenced by:
- its appearance which harmonizes with the group of buildings that make up the Aviation Weather Station;
- its identification with the group of isolated buildings whose siting on a stark open landscape make all the buildings important community landmarks.